Eating Disturbances, Interpersonal Relationships, and Depressive Symptoms Among Emerging Adults

  • Sarah Jane Norwood
  • Jennine S. Rawana
  • Ahuva Brown


Given the high prevalence of depression among Emerging Adults (EAs), it is important to investigate the risk factors associated with depression within this age group. Previous research highlights the association between disordered eating, insecure relationships, and depressive symptoms among adolescents. However, these relations have yet to be examined as youth develop into EAs. Thus, the current study investigated eating- and weight-related disturbances (EWRDs; e.g., emotional eating, external eating, and restrained eating) and interpersonal relationships in relation to depressive symptoms among EAs. It was hypothesized that increased EWRDs and less supportive relationships with mothers, fathers, and peers would be associated with higher depressive symptoms. The results revealed a significant relationship between eating in response to emotional arousal and depressive symptoms, as well as between maternal relationships and depressive symptoms among EAs. Implications for clinical practice are discussed.


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